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This is a view from our neighborhood. First the back yard (brown because it is winter), then Nahariya, then the Mediterranean Sea. To the right, you may see the mountains that separate us from Lebanon – about 6 km away as the crow flies. To the far left, but blocked by the tree, is Haifa. The windows do not really look like this. They are straight squares as you would expect on a straight wall – I did a Pano with my phone from a short distance, and I like the look of it.

In my own words

The breed who used to come home with teeny papers containing parts of sentences, words or letters rubber cemented or waxed to their long hair. Prickly sideburn on the right from carrying an exacto behind the ear. Permanent color stained fingers from Stabilo markers…bleary eyes from light-table work. Not a pretty sight.

…That was me. I was one who joined in poking fun at Ray;  the first of us who bought a computer and learned Pagemaker to make slides – until he made up the cost in one month with one project. We were all converted at that point or else we changed professions.

Much later I started with simple websites designed from scratch in Photoshop and then coded with Dreamweaver, learned some html and css; then on to responsive websites, Bootstrap, experimenting with templates and finally landing on WordPress.

Most of my clients are in the U.S. Although I work with clients abroad on English sites. My clients are terrific! I have done one bilingual site so far, and there are 2 in the hopper, but it is impossible for me to proof them or make suggestions about the text (a great reason to be working with WordPress. Clients can make their own changes at will.)

Over the last couple of years I have learned the value of internet client meetings using Skype. After an initial client meeting, when the project is near completion, it is possible to share the screen and make additional changes “on the fly”. It cuts down design “back and forth” time – and also travel time.

When local, I like to meet with my clients initially to talk about the direction they wish to take their business and to understand their style and color preferences. We also talk about desired functionality of the site and/or collateral pieces. For complicated projects (like multi-page websites) I like to storyboard. That means making a page-by-page outline of the project with as much detail as possible. It should include text and imagery. After design is agreed upon and completed the build part of the project begins. Things may change slightly during the build, but much time is saved by planning ahead.

The piece of my business I like best is the comfortable interaction with my clients during meetings and tutoring them on how to “work” the technology. I also enjoy learning about the new technologies and marketing strategies. I did mention that my clients are terrific.

art director • web designer

Call Toni Graphics has one staff -
that is me

Toni.

  • Born and educated in Chicago.
  • Worked in Chicago, LA, Central Oregon, and now, Israel.
  • Moved to join family in Israel 2014.
  • Many years of graphic design experience.
  • Native (and only) language: English.

The appropriate job title now is Front-End Developer and Back-End Developer – not very glamorous.

Maybe the titles are because there is so much “do-it-yourself” available. Frankly, if a person has time to learn the technology, anyone can produce logos, on-line printing, logowear and signage, graphics and even websites now. The polish that a designer would insist upon, the focus and organization that helps the viewer, is missing, but they still work . . .  more or less. You never know what will go viral.

So, instead of the glamorous designer I once imagined myself to be, I am like a mechanic who helps my clients become visible to their targeted audiences through online and print presence. I help them decide on the look and feel they want to convey and then set them up.

On the side, I have done a little fine art. Sculpture was my first love when I was a teen in high school, then print making and finally returning to sculpture. I enjoy audio books – especially Scripture. And my toddler nieces and nephew who are my closest neighbors – I see them every day. They are teaching me Hebrew – I think.

So, are you ready to hire someone for help with your website?

Take a look at my helpful guide with considerations.